Duke basketball recruiting class includes 4 Naismith contenders

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball pledges are vying for a huge award.

Thursday marked the unveiling of the 25 midseason candidates for the Naismith Boys’ High School Player of the Year Trophy. And 16 percent of those names are members of the currently six-deep 2022 Duke basketball recruiting class, which isn’t much of a surprise since the haul sits comfortably at No. 1 overall on the 247Sports 2022 Team Rankings.

The quartet of future Duke Blue Devils on the list consists of Sunrise Christian (Kan.) five-star small forward Mark Mitchell, Montverde (Fla.) five-star small forward Dariq Whitehead, Wilbraham & Monson (Mass.) five-star power forward Kyle Filipowski, and Westtown (Pa.) five-star center Dereck Lively II.

No other school boasts more than two.

Voters will trim the count to 10 semifinalists on Feb. 3, then to five finalists on Feb. 17, before announcing the winner on March 4.

Since the award’s inception in 1987, only three Duke commits have reeled in the hardware: RJ Barrett in 2018, Austin Rivers in 2011, and Shane Battier in 1997.

A fighting chance for any of the four Duke basketball recruiting prizes

Considering each of the Naismith contenders heading to Duke has delivered a potent stretch at one time or another this season, it’s conceivable that any of the four could ultimately receive the honor.

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That said, the three players who rank among the top 10 on the 247Sports 2022 Composite would seem to boast the best shot at coming out on top. They are Dereck Lively II at No. 1 in the class, Dariq Whitehead at No. 4, and Kyle Filipowski at No. 7 overall. Meanwhile, Mark Mitchell sits No. 15 for the moment.

The other two Blue Devil pledges among current high school seniors are Yorkville Christian (Ill.) four-star shooting guard Jaden Schutt, who ranks No. 55, and Oak Hill (Va.) three-star center Christian Reeves, who ranks No. 243.

Predicting every Duke win and loss this season. dark. Next

Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on the 2022 class plus other Duke basketball recruiting news and views.